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SYFY WIRE Dungeons & Dragons

Roll 20 for fun: Belly dancing troupe leveling up with Dungeons & Dancers

By Brian Silliman
Dungeons and Dancers (Photo by Gabi QC)

It is a question that humanity has faced ever since the expulsion from paradise: If you had to choose between dragons and belly dancers, what choice would you make? It's a tough call for anyone, and chances are good that the decision might be left to a random roll of a 20-sided die.

The League of Extraordinary Bellydancers, a dance troupe based in Durham, North Carolina, has made their own choice however— a new show of their own devising, featuring dungeons, but they have chosen dance over dragons. Fair enough. 

The recently announced show is called Dungeons & Dancers, and is set to mix the art of the belly dance with the classic RPG storytelling of Dungeons & Dragons. The group has been blending various forms of genre entertainment into their shows for years, but now they are busting the dungeon maps wide open, and going all-in for full dance-fueled fantasy. 

Many of the League's members (LXBD, for short) are fans of the fabled game, and some are players themselves. As LXBD member Sara Beaman says in a statement, “I’ve been belly dancing for over 16 years and playing D&D since I was in the womb. Dance and Dungeons & Dragons are two of my biggest passions in life, so putting them together is a dream come true.”

The Dungeons & Dancers tale will follow a group of adventurers (who are also proficient dancers, we'd imagine) as they seek out something called "The Sanquine Amulet." All of the usual D&D mainstays will be involved in the show, including monsters — so dragons might not be out of the picture completely. The show will debut over 10 exclusively created choreographies, as well as two new versions of some well known LXBD favorites. 

According to Beaman, the group wanted to "evoke the feeling of sitting around a table with a group of friends playing D&D," which includes all of the random and sometimes crazy things that can happen during a game. As she says, "What better way to do that than including an actual campaign in our show?” The tale will be told through dance, dialogue, and as they say, "theatrics." 

The LXBD is giving their fans other ways of getting involved instead of just buying tickets. The show's Kickstarter page (which just surpassed the funding goal, with weeks still to go) is full of incentives — there are tickets for the show itself of course, but other perks include dance lessons, and a special "one-shot" adventure, which could land the VIP guest in the middle of a dancing adventure of their very own. 

That Dungeons & Dragons itself (created in 1974) is still being played today is nothing to shake a Staff of Healing at — some could even argue that the game is bigger and more popular than ever before, with technology connecting players who are unable to gather in the same basement in order to have a grand adventure. That artistic groups like the LXBD want to continue to celebrate the game's legacy and enduring spirit through their art is a testament not only to D&D, but dare we say it, a testament to the power of imagination itself. 

For more information about Dungeons & Dancers as well as the League, give us a perception check...or just click right here.